The best thing we understood from the last few matches Inter has played is that this team is full of talent. Maybe some players are still raw, maybe some of them don't play at their best every single game, and maybe some of them are not as confident in their abilities as they should be in order to always play at high levels. But when this squad decides to take control of the match and realize that they are the best ones on the pitch, they've always succeed. Things don't always end as they should -- like against Juve in the Coppa Italia -- and that's the beauty of football. If you keep playing at your best though, good result will start coming your way, sooner or later.
The first half of the season the Nerazzurri held onto their lead in Serie A thanks to an almost unbreakable defense, which allowed just 11 goals in 18 games. Then the wheels of that perfect machine jammed, leading to an unavoidable breakdown that saw the same defense conceding the same amount of goals in just 6 matches. It's hard to explain why it all went downhill so fast for this team, but it was especially hard to explain why such a star-studded offensive department found it so hard to score goals.
Hopefully, those hard times are just a thing of the past, and with two consecutive home wins with 3 goals scored in each game Mancini's team surely has set the stage for a more exciting and less frustrating end of the season. Ljajic, Brozovic, and Perisic finally look like the players who could make the difference game in and game out, Kondogbia has quickly blossomed into one of the purest, even if still a bit raw, talent of the Serie A, and Icardi, who was highly criticized for the lack of participation and movement, has found a good connection with his teammates.
With all that in mind, let's talk about the match that will take place on Saturday. The Nerazzurri will face 9th placed Bologna, which had an exact opposite 15/16 Serie A campaign compared to Inter. They started with just 6 points in the first 10 matches, but everything changed for them with the sacking of Delio Rossi, who was replaced with Roberto Donadoni, who led his team to an incredible comeback amassing 30 points in 18 games, which is actually very good for a newly promoted club.
Inter's red hot offense will have the very hard task to beat the tough Bologna defensive line which hasn't conceded a single goal in the last 4 matches, despite playing against the league leaders Juventus and forcing them to a draw.
Perisic, Icardi and Ljajic will be the three up-front. Brozovic instead, will be the one appointed with playmaking duty, with the help of Geoffrey Kondogbia and the Pitbull Gary Medel. Handanovic will be back defending the posts after missing the last game for a flu and right in front of him there should be a back-four composed by Nagatomo, Miranda, Murillo and D'Ambrosio.
Projected Starting XIs:
Inter: Handanovic; Nagatomo, Miranda, Murillo, D'Ambrosio; Brozovic, Medel, Kondogbia; Ljajic, Icardi, Perisic;
Bologna: Mirante; Mbaye, Gastaldello, Maietta, Masina; Donsah, Diawara, Taider; Rizzo, Destro, Giaccherini;
How to Watch
TV: beIN Sports (U.S. & Canada), Sky Calcio 1 HD, Sky Sport 1 HD, Sky SuperCalcio HD (Italy), PremiumSport HD (Italy), RAI International
Online: Fubo TV, beIN Sports Connect (U.S. & Canada), Sky Go Italia (Italy)